Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Committee Chair

Steven Barthelme

Committee Chair Department

English

Committee Member 2

Dr. Angela Ball

Committee Member 2 Department

English

Committee Member 3

Dr. Martina Sciolino

Committee Member 3 Department

English

Committee Member 4

Dr. Charles Sumner

Committee Member 4 Department

English

Committee Member 5

Dr. Elizabeth K. Harris

Committee Member 5 Department

English

Abstract

This collection of short stories treats of the following diverse themes: the redemptive possibilities for seemingly despicable characters; the ways in which circumstances and the social environment affect characters' sexualities and personal relationships; the lengths to which characters are willing to go to get what they want, which want is often the desire to make contact with others; the struggle between characters' narcissism and their need to come to terms with a new self image, a self image which is often at odds with the one they wish for themselves; and the beauty of vulnerability. Additionally, one of the chief goals of many of these stories is to show the incredible beauty of eccentricity—and not just of any eccentricity, but of a seemingly pernicious, dangerous eccentricity; these stories treat of such characters generously and attempt to redeem these villains of the everyday world.

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